Artist Caitlin Foster lives in New York and creates drawings based on landscapes and natural history, often influenced by textiles and pattern. She was kind enough to do a little interview with us this week!
When did you first become interested in drawing?
I’ve always drawn, I made a lot of books when I was younger and was really interested in fashion. I used to create catalogs of dresses and outfits I would make up and even write copy for them. Sometimes animals would model the clothes. My drawings have evolved considerably, but I still think there are elements that you can see in my really young drawings that are channeled in my current work.
What’s your most cherished piece of artwork (yours or someone else)?
I have a paper mache sculpture that my boyfriend’s little brother made in elementary school that I really love. It’s simple, just an abstract thing painted in patterns, but I look at it at least once a day and am happy to have it. Children’s art is so good!
Who/What are your biggest inspirations?
Generally I am compelled to make a drawing after I see a pattern or part of something I like and want to use it, like the insides of envelopes! I love seeing new envelope designs. If I see good art I’m often encouraged to go home and work. I think Vija Celmins has had a big influence on my work specifically, I also love Sister Corita and Mamma Andersson, among others. Film is also something I look to in my work. Landscape and color, or its lack, and how it can create drama is something I think about.
Your work is so detailed, what’s the longest you’ve ever spent on one piece?
It’s hard to say, I usually work on several pieces at once. I’ve been trying to work larger and larger, which is great but takes forever. A drawing that is 18″ x 24″ can take me up to two months, but that’s working an average of 8-12 hours a week on it. While I have a great deal of patience, I am always anxious to get a piece done, and am usually sick of it by the end. If I’m working on a very large piece, I often make a smaller drawing that is 8 1/2″ x 11″ at the same time, just to look at something else occasionally.
What’s your favorite part about living in New York?
People watching! And I love celebrity sightings.
What’s a typical day like for you (if there is such a thing!)?
I usually start the day making a to-do list for myself to keep myself on track. I have a wandering mind so I am always forcing myself to stay on track. I have two jobs, so generally I spend the day at one of them. If I’m not at work I will spend the afternoon listening to podcasts and drawing. That’s my favorite thing to do, and what I am usually doing on my days off. I make dinner with my boyfriend when he comes home, and then sometimes make a preliminary to-do list for the next day, which is so dorky but I love doing it.
Three things you never leave the house without?
A book, a camera, and ample snacks.
Do you have any upcoming projects you would like to share with us?
I am involved in ongoing projects with Little Paper Planes. They have made several series of prints of my work and I really enjoy working with them. I’m also working on a series of large drawings for a show in May and doing an ongoing project with a friend who lives in Antarctica. We are working on a book describing her life there, while I am making drawings of how I imagine it is. She sends me a lot of actual letters and packages from there, I think internet is a little hard to come by. It’s cool getting mail from Antarctica!
Thanks Caitlin! For more artist interviews, check here.